Welcome to my odd-but-lovable little laundry room. The smallest room in my house used to be the biggest disaster, but not anymore!
Here are photos of how the laundry room looked right before I moved in. It measures a cozy 4′ x 12′. I suppose it’s actually more of a laundry hall than a laundry room, and the washing machine and the dryer sit across the room from each other instead of next to each other. I wasn’t kidding about the odd part.
Here’s the dumping ground my laundry room became shortly after moving in. It went from odd, to odd and messy. This is the first room I see as I enter my house from the garage—not exactly a welcoming greeting at the end of the day.
I needed some small-space ideas, so I turned to Pinterest for advice. Funny thing—when I searched “Small laundry rooms” I ended up with pictures of beautiful laundry retreats with farmhouse sinks, dog washing stations and crystal chandeliers. Clearly my odd little laundry hall was never going to look like that, but I knew it could be better.
My “must have” list included lots of storage, a brighter space, a clothes-drying rack, easy access to my laundry detergent, a space to sort clothes and a place to hang coats. But most important, I needed it to be beautiful. That’s a tall order for a tiny space.
I was able to re-use leftover cabinets from my kitchen remodel for this project, but garage sales, Habitat for Humanity Restores and even your local curbs are great places to snag some second-hand cabinets. The only new cabinet I had to buy for this project was a pantry-type cabinet.
I began by drawing sketches on graph paper of different ways to combine the cabinets I had on hand to make them fit into the space. It was basically a large-scale game of Tetris. First, one cabinet was stacked on top of another on the dryer side of the room by my oh-so-wonderful carpenter brother, Mike.
Another cabinet was added on the lower right. On the upper right, I simply added a face frame to that area for open display since I didn’t have a cabinet to fit that tiny space. Looks a little scary, I know.
On the washing machine side of the room, the store-bought pantry cabinet went on the left. I made a simple cabinet to go on the top of it for open display. Once the face frame was added to it, it blended right in with the other cabinets. I turned a cabinet sideways to go to on the upper right, and added another cabinet below it.
If you look closely at this photo, you can see that I added a sheet of floor-to-ceiling beadboard to the side of the pantry cabinet to give the illusion that the pantry cabinet and the cabinet on top of it were one large piece.
I decided to make use of the awkward space between the two cabinets (above photo) by making shelves for that area. I put a small trim piece on the front of each shelf to beef them up a bit, and I added beadboard behind them for a little extra cuteness.
It ended up being the perfect spot for my laundry detergent. Like a glove, as they say. Fingers crossed that Tide won’t change the size of their detergent bottles.
So that the cabinets would look a little more updated, I added hidden hinges. The previous hinges were shiny silver ones. I could have kept them and spray-painted them white to help them blend in, but chose to go the hidden hinge route since that’s what was on the new pantry cabinet. See how I added the hidden hinges here.
My bro added some crown, I added some paint, and both sides of the room were looking better.
Now for the other side.
I had achieved both my storage wish and a special place for my laundry detergent, but I still had a ways to go. Next, I added some board and batten wainscoting. See tips here.
I added these gorgeous knobs from Hobby Lobby to hang coats on. Another item off my checklist.
In addition to painting the cabinets and wainscoting white in order to lighten up the room, I also painted the walls a lighter color, and installed a new light fixture from Lowe’s. What a difference the light fixture made!
I’ve learned that in small, narrow, utilitarian spaces where good lighting is a must, you can’t beat directional lighting. The lights were directed towards the cabinets on each end of the room. Brighter laundry room—check!
I then installed this DIY drying rack. See how you can make one here.
To satisfy my need for a place to sort laundry, I built this table the same height as my dryer. With the dryer and the table combined, I now have a small area to stack clean clothes. I built the table with legs made from old bedposts I found on a curb. Sometimes my curb shopping and hoarding come in handy! See details on construction here.
I added this small, removable shelf for a place to keep my car keys that are now easy to grab on my way out the door. The shelf isn’t screwed to the brackets underneath so that I have quick access to the water shut offs if need be.
My sister, Dee, who’s an amazing seamstress, made me this adorable hanging bag that has found the perfect home here in my little laundry room. Love, love, love that bird fabric!
My last wish was to have a beautiful space, and I believe I managed that too! Here are the before and after photos.
And here are some before and afters of the other side of the room.
Now I actually smile when I come into my house at the end of the day!
This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Journeyman Painter and Certified Home Stager/Redesigner. If you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.Wordpress.com.